One Piece games have taken on a variety of genres over the years and One Piece: Burning Blood marks the first true fighter for the series. Despite One Piece: Burning Blood’s story being set in Paramount War arc of One Piece, the game features characters and locations from the entirety of the series. After a few hours playing through some of the various modes in the game (Online modes were not available at this time), it comes as no surprise to see One Piece: Burning Blood comes from the same team as J Stars Victory VS+ as the battle system feels like an new and improved version of what has come before.
The Paramount War mode acts as One Piece: Burning Blood’s story mode. Playing as either Luffy, Whitebeard, Akainu or Ace, you go through a series of missions from their own perspectives with some side missions unlocked along the way. Most missions require you to simply win the battle to progress, others have other objectives such as requiring you to just survive against a strong opponent for a set length of time. I only played through some of Luffy’s missions and most of these were tutorials despite getting what seemed like a good way through his missions. These tutorials are well executed however, going through the basics of battle and making it easily understandable while also going through a few situations in which to use certain moves. Burning Blood’s battle system is one that’s easy to pick up but there’s a lot of potential depth as well. I have the impression that it won’t be too difficult to work your way through the story, but it seems the true challenge lies within Burning Blood’s Wanted mode.
Wanted mode is essentially a challenge mode with a variety of options to choose from. There’s a further series of training missions you can do which delves into the more advanced end of what’s possible with the battle system. The main attraction here however is the wanted list. This is a massive series of challenges that each get progressively more difficult than the last. Like story mode, it seems the conditions to win can change but you’re also given more variety. Some missions have set character teams for you to use, while others will give you a set team. If these aren’t hard enough for you, there’s the special wanted list which is a set of extra tough challenges to work through.
My biggest take away from the few hours I had playing, is that One Piece: Burning Blood seems to have done a good job of making a game that is both, a good One Piece adaption as well as a decent fighter. I really like the visual style they’ve gone for, it’s a sort of a detailed cel shaded look that adopts manga style shading techniques. The cutscenes look fantastic, it’s a pleasure to see these iconic scenes from the series done like this, especially for what is such a key moment in the One Piece series.
There’s lot of nice small details as well such as during the battles at Marineford, you’ll see all sorts of fighting going on in the background. The battle system allows One Piece fans to enjoy the retelling of Paramount War without worrying too much about their own level of skill and if they do feel confident in their abilities, they can make the progression to the Wanted mode to further their skills or just head online to battle it out.